Disillusionment in the IT Ranks

By Deb Perelman  |  Posted 2008-06-06 Print this article Print

On the heels of a survey of released in May by the IT Job Board that found that three-quarters of IT professionals surveyed said they'd recommend a career in their industry to their offspring, coupled with a Bureau of Labor Statistics prediction that the job market for computer professionals will grow at a record pace through 2016, we asked readers if they themselves would recommend a career in IT to their children.

Though answers fell on both sides of the fence, the negative responses brimmed with anger. One commenter who identified himself or herself as CIO said, "I would not recommend it at all. We work the hours of doctors and get less respect than the trash man."

Other IT professionals who commented also mentioned long hours, as well as citing deferred and interrupted vacations and being "tethered to the office" by being on call 24/7. Another issue was salaries, with one commenter saying wages had stagnated or devalued for nine years, with little comp or overtime for all of those weekend and evening hours.

But it was job security that was the sorest point among commenters. Commenter James Igoe warned against working in the infrastructure aspect of IT unless one is involved in the higher-end design aspects or design security, as most infrastructure jobs have been "dumbed-down and cannibalized."

Commenter Sam had another take on IT job security: "IT in general is one of the fewer industries, when you have the right skill sets, in which there is relative employment security. Note I didn't say job security. There is no such thing. And if all a person knows or does is Windows administration or desktop support, they will likely not make as much money and probably wouldn't recommend IT."

Yet not all news was bad news. "I have and will continue to recommend to people to go into the IT field. In my opinion where I have lost employees to competitors for enormous salaries ($90K with 1 year out of college), we need a bigger and better talent pool for this field to continue to prosper," wrote commenter Rob.

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